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CMP Goes to Germany: The Third International Conference on Mathematics Textbook Research and Development

Release: November 25, 2019


AJ Edson presented at the Third International Conference on Mathematics Textbook Research and Development in Paderborn, Germany. Understanding the importance of textbooks, this conference focuses on the vital role textbooks play as a curriculum resource for teaching and learning mathematics in classrooms around the world.

The paper entitled, Transitioning from Print to Digital Curriculum Materials: Promoting Mathematical Engagement and Learning is co-authored by AJ Edson, Elizabeth Phillips and Kristen Bieda. The authors report on research efforts to transition from a print problem-based curriculum to a digital collaborative environment. They highlight ways in which a collaborative feature of the digital environment supports student engagement in mathematics.

For more information on this conference, visit Third International Conference on Mathematics Textbook Research and Development.

The following is an excerpt of the paper. For the full paper, see the conference proceedings.

"Students are productive in engaging in disciplinary practices when they make intellectual progress or demonstrate change in their conceptions over time. Our curriculum and development research goals are to enhance student productive disciplinary engagement (Engle, 2011) through four design principles: (1) problematizing, (2) authority, (3) accountability, and (4) resources.Examining student behaviors, participations, and interactions in classroom environments are essential for understanding the extent to which students are engaged in personal thought and the thinking of their peers.

The context for the work is transitioning the problem-based curriculum, Connected Mathematics, to a digital environment. Through design research, we are connecting the (re)design efforts to the learners’ enacted experiences and associated outcomes. In the digital environments, students engage in a new CMP STEM problem format to problematize the situation, surface the encoded or embedded mathematics, and connect learning to prior and future knowledge.

One of the ways to promote productive disciplinary engagement has been to focus on student collaboration. While students explore and solve the problem in their groups, they have collaboration supports so that the digital work can be generated, shared, and accessed synchronous and in real-time by their group members. By giving permission, other students in their group can see every interaction performed in the workspace. When students activate controls to see student work, their individual workspace transforms into a four-grid region where each region shows the individual workspace of the group. Students can drag and drop copies of the digital work from their group members into their individual workspace and make further changes in real-time without re-creating the sequence of steps involved in constructing the object.


Providing students with opportunities to use collaborative features is important in inquiry-oriented, problem-based mathematics for several reasons. First, a student’s capacity to make sense and represent his or her knowledge necessitates the ability to generate, critique, and refine their work. Second, since student work is publicly accessible and directly available to others through the collaboration features, the student work plays a vital role as students coordinate and navigate their mathematical understandings. Third, the collaboration features enhance the ability for social interactions in classrooms to promote student problematizing, authority, and accountability in mathematics classrooms."